Twitter’s Users Now Can Follow Topics Like They Follow Accounts

Chitanis - Sep 14, 2019, 8:00 am IST


Twitter’s new feature tested on Android allows users to follow topics like they follow accounts, which helps explore users’ interests on its platform.

Recently, Twitter said that the company will start to let users follow interests and view tweets about particular topics that they chose within the timeline. Once this new feature is available, users can follow topics like TV shows, sports teams, and celebrities, alongside countless related tweets inserted with tweets in their home feed.

According to Twitter, it will curate the topics while individual tweets are identified via machine learning instead of editorial curation. However, a product manager named Rob Bishop said users can only follow interests related to sports for now. This new feature is currently being experimented on Android.

Twitter-topics
Twitter will let users follow topics

Through Twitter’s move, we can see the latest attempt to help its users to experience the best content on its platform even when users do not know about the accounts they should follow. The company has spent years trying to make finding value easier for its users, which can bring a sense of foreboding to newcomers. Twitter previously had Twitter Moments letting people follow events like a sports game or the Oscars.

There is a reason for restricting the interests users can follow in the experimenting phase, which is seeing how the overall experience on Twitter will be affected if the interests are amplified through the new feature. Twitter has been carrying out research into the bad incentives which it can create, alongside the like as well as retweet which often serves the purposes of promoting polarization and outrage.

Kayvon Beykpour, leading the product efforts of Twitter, said the company didn’t intend to make topics for every field that its users may have an interest in. This is to prevent bad actors from abusing the platform.

Users can also mute topics in case they are following a television show but they haven’t spent time watching the latest episodes, they can hide tweets related to it from your home feed.

Twitter is having a different experiment in which users can create separate lists inside the app so as to follow the individual interests of their own. A Twitter’s product manager did a demonstration in which keywords and a few individual accounts were mixed together to set up a new list next to the users’ own feed and the list is accessible through swiping.

Another product manager from the company - Wally Gurzynski – said:

“We think that altogether this will make Twitter a more powerful interest platform.”

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